Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre D’Orange

Do not expect a tobacco fragrance. Expect a cigarette scent.

Where’s the magic in Etat’s Jasmin et Cigarette? For me, it’s the juxtaposition. Elegant, white, and green smelling indolic jasmine surrounded with a firm base of spice and warmth. It’s a classic floral oriental recipe: Heady floral top notes atop of dense accords, eventually unfurling themselves, smoothing themselves at the edges. But, on top of this, a cigarette. Damp and dimly lit.

Imagine a grand dame. A glamorous star from yesteryear. She applies precious perfume on her most intimate areas. A floral and jasmine-centric bouquet with great aura and presence. The room she is in, dark, and the pitter patter of rain is heard from the comfort of within. Dressed in a big coat, layered in expensive fur, and baring strong swooping shoulders. She asks the double breasted pinstripe man for a cigarette. He hands one to her, and as she tilts her head back to put the slender stick into her mouth, the beam from the streetlight hits half of her face, covering her immaculately shaped face in a moonlight white. She returns to the shadows and lights her cigarette. The flame flickers and gives her a soft glow. She inhales and blows a puff of narcotic smoke out from her mouth. The embers on the end of her cigarette maintain this lady in a warm glow.

As cigarette smoke warms the body and lingers throughout, you detect an aberration. Soft makeup powders tainted with cigarette, and the leather she adorns, also tainted. However, her elegant floral and slightly fruity perfume is not tainted. No. On the contrary, it is bettered.

Jasmin et Cig © 2015 Liam Sardea

© 2015 Liam Sardea

An edgy perfume, Jasmin et Cigarette is relatively straight forward. On opening, the cigarette illusion is warm and lightly smokey. Notice how the descriptor ‘tobacco’ is omitted. This is a hypnotic idea of a slender cigarette and a trail of thin smoke. It maintains an ash-quality more than anything; that almost bittersweet smell of cigarette on the breath. The jasmine’s sweetness is pushed, compounded in a heavenly soft apricot. Moreover, the naughty floral aspect is demonstrated, as the waxy floral paradigm evolves into something improved upon, not ruined.

The tongue-in-cheek intentions of the cigarette accord soften however persist. Find a surprising freshness coming from nowhere. A damp greenery (hay) almost mimicking the mentholated effect of a cigarette with a tenacity from synthetic musk notes and coumarin. Jasmine eventually trumps this again, this time with a unique leatheriness. I suspect the ‘noir’ qualities of jasmine is pushed and emphasised to reveal this covert feature, underneath a cedar and amber backbone. It is a touch dirty, very stern, and yet softens with a baby face from the apricot. The result is musty, humid, and stupidly pleasant …  and of course true to its name.

Jasmin et Cigarette is a fairly linear scent, and as I hone in, the linalool feature is exaggerated – this time reminding me of clean cotton clothing tainted with cigarette smoke from yesterday’s events. The indole note from jasmine persists and it is intoxicating. A touch bitter, slightly inky, and now sweaty with a cumin and flesh-like inflection, Jasmin et Cigarette is a demonstration of the trivial taken seriously.

Alternative: Sarrasins by Serge Lutens.

A tainted perfume? Certainly not here.

Subjective rating : 4/5

Objective rating: 3.5/5

5 thoughts on “Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre D’Orange

  1. Ahhh, again you write of one of my faves. Jasmin et Cigarette is how I imagine girls arriving at a speakeasy would have smelled. Though it doesn’t smell like them I could also imagine the French prostitutes smoking their Gauloises smelling like this in flagrante delicto.
    Portia xx

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